an overview of the Seafriends web site.
What are you interested in?
-- seafriends home -- Rev:20030710,20030922,20041210, 20050421,20050803,20070828,20090625,20101022,
There are two substances on which humans depend
most: water and soil (and warmth). Both are in trouble from loss
and degradation. Water may no longer be sufficiently available to irrigate
agricultural lands and to feed our industries. Our soils are farmed with
which has its limits. It is important therefore to understand how
soil works and how we are losing it through loss of fertility
and erosion. The soil chapter
is very large because it is such an important subject while also the world's
This chapter also gives a quick primer on geology, how rocks form and how these form soil. How the availability of water determines whether soil can be farmed sustainably depends on its potential evapotranspiration.
Since 1998 the world has been cooling while sunspot activity arrives at an historic low. The world may face a prolonged period of deep cooling, bringing unforeseen disasters. Suddenly we discover that warmth is a precious resource, as is CO2.
Oceanography will later be extended with estuaries, the El Niño weather patterns and the ozone hole.
If you want to know how the organisms on the planet work together, a
chapter on marine biology, ecology
and evolution will appear in the future.
Already the chapter on biodiversity
and principles of the intertidal
rocky shore may give you a glimpse of what to expect.
This very large section will in due time be expanded with chapters on fishing and whaling, poisonous plankton blooms, chemical pollution, introduced marine species, ballast water and more.
One of the world's largest resources, energy,
is also becoming one of the world's largest problems. A separate chapter
will analyse what energy is, the present situation, alternatives and how
fossil fuels affect the atmosphere and life on Earth.
The human dimension will be extended with chapters on the population explosion, how the mind works and how it fools us, how to teach yourself to think better, to solve problems, and to bring about change while minimising risks.
Because of its low population some of the problems experienced elsewhere on more populated continents are not pressing in NZ but government departments are actively ratifying United Nations agreements, waging a war for marine reserves on their people. The strong belief in perceived beneficial effects of marine reserves is not borne out by facts but supported only by extensively propagandised myths, reason why NZ marine reserves disappoint, and do not save the environment or biodiversity. Fish census at the Poor Knights and Goat Island, as elsewhere, bear this out, as also NZ's shellfish fisheries have collapsed. In our zeal for marine reserves we are making just too many mistakes.
Since October 2010, New Zealand has begun trading in carbon credits, even though NZ's carbon footprint is unknown due to its large EEZ. Those interested can learn how the world's climate system really works, and why the fear of global warming is based on fraud. Similarly the fear of ocean acidification is entirely unjustified. A vast number of scientists have become complicit due to group-think, and only independent skeptics are able to expose the fraud and bring new ideas.
This section will benefit from the planned chapters on plankton
its harmful algal blooms, and that
on fishing and how to control it. There
is a better way to save our seas.
This website we have doggedly pursued the many issues that are the real causes of the problems in the sea, as the main threat now comes from the land. Read the large chapters on degradation to become informed. Only by saving the land, can we save the sea!
Under the pretense of an integrated strategy with consultation of all stakeholders at all stages, DoC' s new Marine Protection Policy and Implementation Plan by-passes the Marine Reserves Amendment Bill and the Oceans Policy, becoming the summit of madness in the war for marine reserves.
This section will keep pace with new inventions of folly until a truly integrated policy is formed that recognises the new threats to the seas while abandoning the present policies of confrontation, deceit and secrecy.
If you want to take an active role, study the latest discoveries with the Dark Decay Assay method and begin to monitor the health of the aquatic ecosystems in your area. This chapter is now in its very beginnings and will be expanded as more results come in.
An introduction to what is happening to our sea, links to all relevant chapters, a good starting point.
This section will be extended by detailing the habitat classification with more sample habitats. Already the rockpool habitat has been touched on and the rocky shore has been dealt with extensively, including 400 identifying photographs.
This section will be completed at a later date, with a priority for fishes, crustaceans and echinoderms.
Enjoy the many galleries of
beautiful underwater photos, a section which is gathering momentum. From
this index the many galleries of photos will be found. We hoped to have
many slide shows about interesting
topics and beautiful photographs but have not developed this concept further.
Most of the photographs on this web site have been taken by us and they can be ordered for commercial use as also a print of any photo can also be ordered. Our posters have been pre-printed. Read the introduction to the photolibrary for the latest informaiton and pricing. Just send us an e-mail and mention the photograph's file number (e.g. f123456). Payment is done through PayPal.
This section will hopefully one day be extended by 'light is all you see' or understanding what makes a photo (on land). Also a chapter on tips and tricks is in preparation.
If you wish to update a basic understanding of chemistry, read the periodic table of elements and what follows. It helps you to better understand our chapters. Rock and soil geology has been summarised in a compact number of tables. The tables of the abundance of the elements from humans to animals is a unique compilation containing the elements of life and world mineral reserves.
History comes at various levels. Read how the universe developed, the
planets and life on Earth in the geologic
time table. The history of our civilisation depended mainly on
knowledge and technology as tabled in the history
Be amazed about how easily people surrender to myths and strange beliefs in the belief systems of the world.
An amazing reference work, which is growing steadily is the table of
and measures which helps you to convert from one physical unit
to another and to make your own calculations and informed estimates with
the many natural constants and rule-of-thumb factors. This already formidable
tool for understanding what scientists say, grows steadily.
This section is awaiting the completion of the basic education provided in the main sections, which is taking up all of our time. The planned worksheets have not yet eventuated.
The whole web site is now available on CD, including medium resolution versions of many photographs and diagrams. The CD can be downloaded on the school computer for fast and instant access.
By treating the beach-dune system as a living organism (because it absorbs wind and wave energy) we discovered how beaches work and the real reasons why these are disappearing. We formulated the six basic laws that govern every beach and seaside dune system in the world. These laws make far-reaching predictions. We formulated a method to ascertain the health of any beach. We also identified missing science about this close-to-home oceanography.
Soil is the Earth's and humanity's most precious resource, yet we are
losing it precipitously. Hence a large section on geology,
formation and fertility.
We identified the seven
basic laws governing soil sustainability and what is perhaps the
main reason for global climate change, the disruption
of the water cycle.
In the extensive chapter on soil erosion, we identify a new way of looking at landscapes by considering that they are the evolutionary product of processes that result in least loss landscapes. We also identify how erosion affects the sea, and the forces that return nutrients back onto the continental shelf, which makes plausible that the shallow seas tend to saturate with nutrients.
We have observed inexplicable distributions of marine populations and equally inexplicable mass mortalities of nearly all species. Our new principles of degradation and the plankton balance hypothesis explain that one important limiting factor, found only in the sea, has been overlooked. Plankton does not only feed but it also kills by its active decomposers. It explains many apparent paradoxes and makes frightening predictions.
In January 2005 we invented a new scientific
method, the Dark Decay Assay, to measure the strength
of the planktonic decomposers and thus the health of any plankton ecosystem.
This epoch-making discovery opens a world of interest, gives strong support
for the Plankton Balance hypothesis while resolving many
paradoxes. Because of its universality, accuracy, simplicity and low cost,
it is of immediate practical use to many who work with aquatic ecosystems,
such as aquariums, ponds, aquaculture and marine research. Why not use
it yourself to keep a watchful eye on the waters in your neighbourhood?
School children can do it too. The DDA could become a formidable weapon
in the fight against eutrophication! Read DDA
for dummies first.
The Dark Decay Assay challenges the way we think about aquatic ecosystems. It discovered that planktonic decomposers are a large part, often exceeding the biomass of producers (phytoplankton) but they are not capable of completing decomposition unless an additional high-energy food is supplied. It also discovered that the main limiting factor in aquatic ecosystems is the availability of hydrogen ions, which makes acidic lakes far more productive than basic (less acidic) lakes. In the sea the conditions for plant growth are not favourable, reason why the insufficiently decomposed biomatter in the sea (slush) may well help plants become more productive with bacteria living in symbiosis on their slimy skins (the symbiotic decomposer hypothesis or slush hypothesis). As the seaweed or phytoplankter feeds the decomposers, they provide it with hydrogen ions, carbondioxide and nutrients. Symbiotic decomposition also explains why corals can grow productively in clear waters with little phytoplankton or nutrients. It must also play an indispensable role in soil, such that a large part of a plant's intake of CO2 may come direct from the soil.
Work in this area is continuing as also aquarium studies are in place to document the process of progradation (improving water quality). The Seafriends aquariums (2, 3)have now become the world's only closed ecosystem, the salt water of which never returns to the sea. Wastes from feeding fishes is converted by bacteria to nutrients that are converted to plankton by natural sunlight. The plankton in turn feeds filter feeders such as mussels, oysters, seasquirts and sponges. Seaweeds assis in symbiotic decomposition. But time will tell . . .
When nutrients, sewage and mud enter the sea, they feed plankton blooms that have disastrous effects on the environment (eutrophication), whereas the opposite is supposed to happen (a richer food chain). The large chapter on marine degradation explains the principles behind this new and fast accelerating threat. But read what's happening to our seas first. Many images of degradation show what it looks like and what to look for. It builds further on and confirms the plankton balance hypothesis, also an important discovery. We may have entered a new era of rapid degradation of our lands and seas due to a possible vicious cycle created by di-methyl sulphide (DMS) produced by the rapidly increasing biomass of decomposers world-wide. The recent and almost total collapse of New Zealand's shellfish fishery has been predicted by us a long time ago (1987), then measured (2005) and now the data proves we were right and that much more bad news is coming. See also the timeline of degradation instances in NZ.
The world is in the grip of the fear of man-made global warming for which there is insufficient evidence, while evidence to the contrary is solid and becoming overwhelming. Read our large chapter which explains how the world's climate system works. The scare of oceans becoming more acidic, with disastrous consequences is also unfounded, as we explained with care while also debunking fraudulent science. In the ocean acidification chapter we also coin our new carbon pipe hypotheis which places the carbon cycle in perspective.
In the chapter on biodiversity we identify how problems accelerate now that we are entering the era of scarcity and we identify the seriousness of the situation with the mathematics of scarcity which makes sobering predictions.
In the large chapter on resource management, we identify the rules of resilience, derived from the survival and evolutionary strategies of living organisms. Ecologists speak of top-down or bottom-up control of populations but the economics of exploitation does a better job of explaining how populations interact.
In our own investigations of the kelpbed deaths due to dense plankton blooms, we find evidence that barren zones are created by storms, whereas urchins just maintain these. In Niue we found strong support for our barrens hypothesis as we formulated Niue's marine ecology. We also find support for the wave theory that the depth of the sand bottom is a measure of the destructive power of the worst destructive waves. It allowed us to construct a habitat zoning diagram for the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, but the method applies equally to any coast on Earth. Read what storm barrens in NZ look like and the strict rules that apply.
Our expeditions to the Kermadec Islands and Niue island discovered symptoms of stress, caused by the difficulty of living in a small place, surrounded by a large empty ocean. We formulated the main factors in the ecologies of Niue and the Kermadec Islands.
You will enjoy minor discoveries such as where the giant heart urchin Brissus gigas lives, not previously known, and the mystery of Barren Arch at the Poor Knights, where large boulders can move at motorway speeds like pebbles on a beach.
We've filled in some blanks on the intertidal rocky shore ecology and a new paradigm that failure is more important than success!??
What will be next in this category? We really don't know because we never anticipated encountering such gaps in science.
Closer to home are the mistakes in marine science, rebutted in Science Exposed and Myths(7). Green activism and propaganda never stand alone, as there are always scientists behind them, who provide the arguments. Read the growing section about myths and fallacies about marine reserves and marine conservation and brush up quickly on a concise treatment of marine reserves, and then in more detail the Frequently Asked Questions about marine conservation. Even though our observations and predictions were twenty years ahead of their time, new scientific evidence consistenlty proves us right. The latest shambols is the total collapse of New Zealand's shellfish fishery, a follow-on from the early (1980) collapse of the toheroa surf clam.
For the sake of our children, it is important to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons - not an easy task. Preferably we need to prevent problems and act pro-actively (in advance), but uncertainty may make us do the wrong things, a kind of dilemma (choice between two hells). Scientists who are at the source of society's understanding and knowledge, need to warn us for impending danger, but they must also refrain from scare scenarios, or at least be honest about what knowledge is missing, and of doubts. It is equally important for them to say 'we were wrong' and retract previous false statements. In this respect there is much to be desired, also because fear opens the taps for scientific funding.
The ocean acidification
scare is a classical example where scientists have exaggerated the danger,
while being dishonest about how much is not known, while also not considering
all angles. Read it to make up your own mind. It is interesting to note
that scientists are so obsessed with consensus, that a link to this chapter
is consistently removed from the Wikipedia page for "ocean
acidification". How then is the world to know of the scientific
swindles committed in this subject, and the massive doubt and ignorance?
In the meantime our extensive chapter about global climate makes you understand how it all works, and why global warming is a scam.
Do you have interesting books about the sea gathering dust? Donate them to the Seafriends library.
You may have expertise in the subjects treated here on this web site.
Please give us your feed-back to make it
better. You may not understand parts of this web site. Please tell us so
that we can improve it.